These images are an homage to my love of family run, independent, budget hotels, B&Bs, motels and guest houses. I’ve been staying in such establishments for years, for both business and pleasure. Years ago, I had a few commissions with The Times Newspaper – they’d give me £100 a day (which was a lot for a daily hotel allowance – even 15 years ago), I’d always find somewhere really cheap, never more than £30 a night, and spend the rest on more important things… more important things being a couple of bottles of Bollinger and a lamb Madras take-away.
The Hotel Meson de L’Ainsa, situated in Ainsa in the Spanish Pyrenees, has everything I love about independent hotels – non-standard decor means that no two rooms are the same, each one has its own little collection of plastic flowers, garish prints of paintings in tacky frames, furniture straight out of a ’70s porno film and heavily varnished wood panelling. There’s always wood panelling. An added feature with most European hotels is the tiled floors… an absolute guarantee that anything you accidentally drop – a phone or a camera – will instantly turn into an insurance claim.
I’d like to eventually publish a book of the photographs I’ve made in these architectural throw-backs… I can’t be the only person in the world who loves shit hotels?